Thank you for making a big difference.
“I would like to express how grateful I am. If gratefulness could be measured on a scale, my gratitude would exceed its limits. Our financial supporters have been generous; we had one young man, Ben, who decided for his Bar Mitzvah to raise funds for Fruit Tree. His efforts alone raised over $1,000. His actions are just one example.”
You started something big with Small Change!
Hamilton Fruit Tree Project harvests local, fresh fruit from backyards and the bounty is divided up between homeowners, volunteers and food banks. The project is a way for struggling Hamiltonians to access fresh fruit and we have different parties that come to together to make that possible, each party experiencing overlapping impacts.
The project has come to play a critical role in supplying much-needed fresh, healthy local produce for area food banks and breakfast programs, but needs your help to continue to benefit Hamilton residents.
With the ‘Eat Local’ movement gaining more and more momentum and as the economic downturn continues to inflict impacts on our communities, we need to turn to our own backyards to look for resources to help the situation. The Hamilton Fruit Tree Project has come to play a critical role in supplying much-needed fresh, healthy local produce for area food banks and breakfast programs.
The project is a way for struggling Hamiltonians to access fresh fruit and we have different parties that come to together to make that possible, each party experiencing overlapping impacts. For example, talking with homeowners, they were grateful to have the extra hands to assist with the harvesting and they know that the fruit would not be wasted, for volunteers, it meant a way to connect with local food and other like-minded individuals and for social food programs, recognizing the importance of fresh produce to distribute, this project supplemented what they were able to offer to their clients.
This ongoing project includes a variety of powerful community-building features:
- The freshly picked fruit is on food bank shelves and breakfast program plates within 24-72 hours.
- Any seconds are used in canning workshops across Hamilton – many of which are providing food preservation skills to low income individuals - and any thirds are given to a local pig farmer as feed.
- Volunteers are the real power behind this project; in 2008, they harvested close to 5,000 lbs of fruit from over 30 local trees and grape vines. The picking sessions are fun for our volunteers, who all express great enthusiasm over the opportunity to socialize and help the larger community at the same time.
- 4. Homeowners open their backyards to the project and without their generosity the fruit we harvest would have otherwise fallen to the ground and gone to waste.
The money raised through the Small Change Fund website will be used towards paying for a part time co-ordinator for the upcoming 2011 harvest season. In 2010, we were able to harvest 13,000+ of fresh produce from our own region.
Without the many (and I do mean many) contributors, whether it is: community partners, funders, homeowners, volunteers, social food services, faith communities, farmers this project would not thrive.
Environment Hamilton (EH) was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in 2001 to help Hamiltonians to develop the knowledge and skills they need to protect and enhance the environment around them. Hamilton Fruit Tree Project/Environment Hamilton is working in partnership with the Robert Land Community Association on this project.